No Surprise Here
The moment the Right had been waiting for years, the chance to swing the highest court in the land to the right, may have been slipping through their hands. Sensing that possible missed opportunity they criticized the choice immediately and kept up the aggressive questioning publicly. Since Ms. Miers hadn't been a judge there was no paper trail to indicate what type of justice she would become.
That lack of a paper trail caused conservatives to want verifiable evidence that Ms. Miers was indeed a conservative. The support and statements of the President never took hold. The only way to alleviate those fanatical fears was for the White House to release her work for the President. Something the Dems also wanted to see to determine the same thing -- how conservative was she?
The White House wasn't about to release those papers and whiningly said the push for the release of the papers was what sunk the nomination.
What sunk the nomination wasn't the request to the White House for the Counsel's papers and the White House wanting to keep those papers under wraps , but the fact that the Far Right wanted a proven, active Conservative to turn the court in their specific direction and they felt Ms. Miers wasn't that proven conservative.
What sunk the nomination was the arrogance of the White House which even in its weakened state thought it could push the nomination through the process, but completely overreached in their ability to do so by failing to convince the conservatives that "she's the most qualified" candidate in the country.
Those "qualifications" never shone through and now the conservatives are claiming victory. With the White House severely diminished in its ability to wield power both perceived and actual will the next nomination bow the extreme pressure from the Right and name a proven, active conservative and brace for a fight with moderate Republicans and Democrats? Or do they name a proven moderate, cross their fingers the nominee will side with them on abortion, civil rights and civil liberties and totally alienate the Far Right, but see the nomination sail through with Roberts like speed? That is now the question.
We may soon see it answered as the President and the White House have said they will seek to name the next nominee in the very near future. In the time being Affirmation Action, civil rights, most civil liberties and abortion are safe with moderate Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor staying on highest bench.